I would always insist customers to get a coffee scale for the best coffee, but there are occasion where you may not have one with you, or you could be just starting out. So this is a guide to help you to estimate how much coffee ground you need to put. All this is done "agak agak" and I hope you keep using the same spoon size so you can adjust your scope along the way.
Now for reminder, the golden ratio of coffee is about 15g over 250ml of water, I would put about 18g because most of us don't have a good grinder and adding a bit more ground makes the brewing process more forgirveful, I rather have a slightly stronger or bitter coffee than a tasteless one.
Next there are two way to measure coffee ground without scale
- Tablespoon - Generally, a level tablespoon of whole coffee beans is roughly 4-7g of coffee. To keep things rather simple, just assume it’s 6g each level scoop.
- Liquid Measuring Cup - 1g of liquid water is exactly 1ml of liquid water. The two units of measurement are based on each other, which is why it’s a direct translation.
If you make about 250ml mug of coffee, here’s how to find your coffee to water ratio:
- Measure 250g of water in your liquid measuring cup and pour into your kettle.
- For practice sake, let’s say you’re using a 1:15 ratio (it’s golden). Divide your total water weight by the ratio (225 / 15) to produce 15. That’s the amount of coffee you need (15-18g) but we put a buffer of 3g to compensate the inconsistency of measurement and the output from grinder.
- You now know that, if you’re using a 1:15 ratio, you’ll need 15g of coffee and 250g of water to brew your mug.
- Since you’re assuming each level tablespoon holds 6g of coffee, divide the total coffee weight by 6 to see how many tablespoons you need (18 / 6). You need 3 level tablespoons of coffee beans.
If you make coffee for the family you can do some adjustment
- Say you want to make 3 cups of coffee, thats about 750ml of liquid, which is how much water you’ll measure using your liquid measuring cup.
- To use a 1:15 ratio, divide the total water weight by 15 to find out how much coffee you need (750 / 15 = 54). You need 54g of coffee.
- Now divide the coffee total by 5 (since each level tablespoon holds 5g of coffee beans) to discover how many tablespoons you need to use (54 / 5). You need 10 level tablespoons of whole bean coffee.
Things to take note
One day you brew coffee that weighs 5g per tablespoon, You use a 1:16 ratio, the coffee tastes great, and all is right in the world. A couple days later you open a new bag, but you don’t realize that each tablespoon doesn’t weigh 5g anymore—it weighs 7g.You use a 1:16 ratio, but the coffee has a harsh sour punch to it.
This is because you ended up using 5-10 extra grams of coffee without realizing it. That extra coffee took your ratio from 1:16 to 1:12. And since each drop of water couldn’t pull out the right amount of “stuff” from each coffee ground (because there’s a whole lot of extra coffee), the lower notes weren’t extracted, causing the sour acids to be overpowering.
If you really want to explore the riches of coffee at a high level, I strongly suggest investing in a scale eventually.